In 1985, October was nationally recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness month. The aim was to increase the early detection of the disease by encouraging women to have mammograms. As the years have progressed, we have learned that men are also affected and early detection is the key to survival.

According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.

How common is breast cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2022 are:

  • About 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women
  • About 51,400 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) will be diagnosed
  • About 43,250 women will die from breast cancer. Breast cancer mainly occurs in middle-aged and older women. The median age at the time of breast cancer diagnosis is 62
  • About 2,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men
  • About 530 men will die from breast cancer

For more of our “Barrett Goes Pink” pics, check out the Barrett Instagram page!

Support of a Co-Worker or Loved One

Supporting your co-worker or family member who has been diagnosed with cancer comes with many challenges. It’s hard to watch the ones we love suffer, struggle, and possibly die. The fear associated with the illness can make figuring out how to support in a way that will truly benefit those affected tricky.

Tips and Considerations For support

  • Match your support with their values:
    Keep in mind who they are, where they are at in their treatment or survivorship, what else is going on in their life, what you know them to love and care about
  • Listening is sometimes the best support you can provide:
    Asking questions about how your Person feels and what they are experiencing will help you better understand their needs
  • Ask open-ended questions that offer an opportunity for them to explore their feelings and needs:
    Allow them to drive the conversation and stay within their comfort zone
  • Don’t bog them down with questions seeking details about cumbersome topics:
    Their mind is in a different place
  • Learn about the kind of cancer your person has been diagnosed with:
    Take it upon yourself, rather than requiring them to teach you – Seek credible resources 
  • Get ready to listen, distract, and support however you and your person do it best:
    Make it real
  • Be genuine and do it your way

While there is a lot to navigate in this dynamic, you’ll find your way. Meet the challenge and learn what you can for the sake of your buddy, sibling, cousin, classmate, or colleague who is going through a really difficult time.

Be kind, be available, and set reasonable boundaries.  Take care of yourself as well, as a supporter you may feel lost or alone.  Cancer is full of difficult emotions for everyone.

Making a Difference

There are many ways to help – Donate, purchase a HOPE kit, and investigate the RISE event. Here are some resources to help you get started:

Looking Ahead – 2023

In honor of those who survived, lost, and are battling Cancer in 2023, WiN will distribute “Pink” early so that each Friday during October we can recognize the importance of early detection and support of breast cancer.

Barrett Industries continues the effort to bring awareness and will challenge us to make a difference. 

Barrett is moving the corporate office from Roseland, NJ to Hamilton, OH on September 15th.

Barrett’s corporate office has been in the same building since being acquired by Colas over 40 years ago. Many important events, decisions, and milestones have occurred within its walls. Many team members, past and present, have memories associated with this facility. While saying goodbye is difficult, the office team is excited about what the future holds.

The 3 Becker Farm Road, Roseland, NJ office should no longer be used.  Mail should now be sent to:

Barrett Industries
8590 Bilstein Boulevard
Hamilton, OH 45015

This decision was made as the end of our lease at the Roseland facility was approaching. Moving to Ohio will allow the corporate office to be closer to operations and use an underutilized asset at our owned building in Hamilton. The transition process is well underway and the helpfulness, positive attitude, and optimism of those impacted by this change is a hallmark of their team spirit and ability to adapt to change.

Pollination is the main way food is produced in the world. It is an essential ecological survival function. Without pollinators, the human race and all of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems would not survive. Of the 1,400 crop plants grown around the world, 80% require insect pollination.

One of the best animal pollinators is the bee. There are over 20,000 known species of bee globally, and 4,000 of them are native to the United States. Only eight surviving species of honeybee are recognized in the world with a total of 43 subspecies. One out of every three bites of food in the United States depends on honeybees and other pollinators. Forget about honey, pollen, and royal jelly. Just think of a world without beans, tomatoes, onions, and carrots! All livestock is dependent upon the honeybees for their source of foraged food. Honeybees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops each year, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables.

Beekeepers first sounded the alarm about disappearing bees in the United States in 2006. They noticed that bees were simply abandoning their hives in great numbers and never returning. Researchers are calling the disappearance Colony Collapse Disorder. They estimate that nearly one-third of all honeybee colonies in the United States have vanished, and the amount of hives in the United States is now at its lowest seen in 50 years.

Researchers believe a number of factors are causing Colony Collapse Disorder. The first factor is Global Warming. This has caused flowers to bloom earlier or later than normal. When pollinators come out of hibernation, the flowers that provide the food they need to start the season have already bloomed. The second is pesticide use on farms. In addition to the pests they intend to target, these pesticides also harm the honeybee during pollination. Many of these pesticides are banned in other countries but are still being used in the United States. The third is habitat loss due to development, abandoned farms, growing crops without leaving habitat for wildlife, and growing flowers that aren’t friendly to the honeybee. The last cause is parasites. Parasites such as the varroa mite cause mass spread of disease due to the bite of the mite and its laying eggs in the honeycomb cells, which infect and eat the honeybee larva.

What can we do to help the survival of the honeybee? There are many simple things you can do to help the honeybee. For starters, reduce or eliminate pesticides! Pesticides are designed to kill unwanted pests, but their toxic properties and widespread use are also harming the beneficial insects such as the honeybee that our ecosystems rely on. Another major way to help is to reduce the honeybee’s habitat loss. Plant native flowers and shrubs for continuous bloom throughout the growing season from spring to fall. This could be as easy as a window box, to acres of farm, to corporate campuses for the honeybee.

And lastly, support your local beekeeper by buying local honey. By reaching out to others and educating people, the survival of the honeybee can be ensured! 

– Special thanks to Dave and Darcey Brady for all of their hard work keeping the Lyons Terminal hive thriving!

As you enter Upstone Materials’ Plattsburgh location, you may notice a colorful patch of land adjacent to the entrance.

Once vacant lots, this area is returning to a more natural state through Upstone Materials’ biodiversity initiative. Upstone will continue to do its part to help Colas achieve its biodiversity targets at quarries and gravel pits.

With over twenty-five species of Northeastern Wildflowers, the eye-catching parcel provides a variety of nourishments, essential to the support of native pollinators. Working with the local non-profit, AdkAction, based in nearby Keeseville, NY, Upstone secured a Pollinator yard sign, indicating the company’s willingness to support bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

Furthermore, with an abundance of trees, such as sugar maple, white pine, and box elder, the property provides ample cover and nesting opportunities to a growing number of animals. As a result, Upstone successfully certified the property as a wildlife habitat by teaming up with the National Wildlife Federation, categorizing the land as a thriving environment conducive to flora and fauna support.

The neighbors and community have noticed our colorful patch of land as we continue to field calls on our wildflower fields. Upstone Materials continues to promote its biodiversity initiative as a place to take senior pictures, so in 2022 our wildflower fields will return, and we hope to hear from you!

– Article provided by Nate Pichette

August 30th is National Grief Awareness Day

Grief awareness has acquired new importance with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Researchers estimate that each person who dies from the disease leaves behind nine grieving people. Behind the numbers, the actual bereaved may be a child, a spouse or sibling of varied ages, and the different time horizons of everyone’s loss influence how friends can offer effective support.

The death of a loved one or enduring an extreme change in lifestyle can trigger grief and the healing process takes time. National Grief Awareness Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the myriad ways in which individuals cope with loss. It offers resources to those going through personal losses and reminds us to support people we know who are grieving. National Grief Awareness Day, founded by Angie Cartwright in 2014, hopes to encourage open communication on loss and bereavement and better inform the public on the facts of grief.


  1. Support a grieving friend:
    If a friend has been honest with you and shared a current story of grief or loss, today is the day to be an extra shoulder for them to cry on. While acknowledging that everyone processes their feelings differently, offer to support your friend in whatever way they need.
  2. Engage in self-care:
    In the throes of grief, a normal human response to loss, self-judgment, and anger are not productive emotions. Rather than attempting to push yourself onto an acceptable “grieving timeline,” remember that there is no one path for those in mourning, and engage in self-care by letting yourself feel whatever you’re feeling.
  3. Post #NationalGriefAwarenessDay:
    Help National Grief Awareness Day accomplish its mission of educating the public on grief by sharing what you’ve learned on social media. Creating space for any kind of reaction to loss is healthy for you, and might just be what someone in your social circle needed to see.


  1. Myth: Grief = Mourning
    Though not widely known, it’s true that mourning and grief cannot be used interchangeably — grief is the internal pain associated with loss, while mourning is the external expression of that pain and it often facilitates grief.
  2. Grief often comes with secondary losses
    While the trauma of losing a loved one is hard enough, those in mourning frequently must cope with a secondary associated loss, like loss of financial security or loss of housing.
  3. Myth: Grief happens in clearly defined stages
    While professionals have identified significant stages of grief that often occur, it is possible and even common for those working through grief to skip steps entirely, have more than one reaction at once, or move backward through steps.
  4. Grief requires effort
    ‘Grief-work’ is the term often used to refer to a grief response — the physical and emotional toll of grief deeply affects the lives of those going through it, so it’s important to engage in self-care throughout.
  5. Myth: Grief can be completely resolved
    Sadly, many people who have experienced loss report that grief, in some form or another, continues for the rest of their lives. Like many other mental ailments, it can recur in varying levels of intensity for years.


  • It raises awareness
    Many people — both who have and haven’t experienced significant losses — don’t have a firm grasp on what grief is and how to cope with it. Spreading awareness on grief to the general public helps to better support those who are grieving and gives those who are not tools for when they encounter grief someday.
  • It saves lives
    For some, grief can turn into dangerous and lonely depression. It’s essential to support yourself and others while going through a loss, as a reminder that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
  • It offers resources
    It can be hard to find the resources and organizations you need while grieving. National Grief Awareness Day can greatly help by connecting mourners to the psychological, emotional, and even financial resources they need to cope with their losses.

For Grief Awareness Day this year, consider how you can honor losses across all the timelines of grief. Learn more about the timelines by clicking HERE.

As we approach the end of August and the completion of the season is looming out on the horizon, there’s no time like the present to think about ways to make our work easier or safer. You might also be thinking about improving our customers’ experiences when they do business with us. Right now, we are in the midst of our 2020 I-Lab Idea Contest that started back on June 1st. The contest will continue through the month of September and several winners will be declared upon the conclusion.

Here’s what’s at stake:

  • $50 award for every legitimate idea submitted (additional awards for implementation). Awards will be made in October and are redeemable through our 3rd party vendor site for gift cards to restaurants, stores, etc…
  • A Grand Prize for the Winning Region (Food Truck or alternative “COVID-friendly” celebration option)
  • Idea Lab Cup Bragging Rights (the cup currently resides with Jeff Payne’s team in Barrett Midwest Central)
  • Special award for the top individual submitter (TBD)
  • Scoring System – 1 pt for each idea; 2 pts for each idea implemented. Total points for each region will be tallied and then adjusted on a “per employee basis”. The region with the highest points per employee WINS!

So far, we have had about 25 ideas submitted during the contest and a few have already been implemented. Great work! Please take 5-10 mins and think about how to improve things for yourself and your colleagues or even our customers. CLICK HERE to send us any ideas, BIG or small, or you can email your ideas to to help your subsidiary bring home a victory and the Grand Prize celebration event.

We need a new, original t-shirt designed for our Social Media Ambassador program.

In our newly announced Social Media Ambassador Program, we highlighted the prizes that would be available to participants. One of those prizes is the Social Media Ambassador t-shirt. We want YOU to design the shirt! A committee of your peers will vote on their favorite and that will be the official design used for the shirts.

The employee who makes the winning design will get the very first print of the Social Media Ambassador t-shirt as well as a $50 voucher to the Barrett Gear online store.


  1. To SUBMIT your design, you MUST be a current employee of one of the following companies:
    • Barrett Industries Corporation
    • Barrett Paving Materials Inc.
    • HRI, Inc.
    • IA Construction
    • Midland Asphalt Materials Inc.
    • Southern Ohio Paving
    • Spring Creek Corporation
    • Strawser Construction, Inc.
    • Terry Asphalt Materials, Inc.
    • Upstone Materials Inc.
  2. Artwork must be a 100% original design with no copyrighted or licensed imagery.


Submit your original t-shirt design directly to no later than September 4th, 2020.


As we continue to find more innovative ways to showcase our employees and their talents, the Barret Social Media & Marketing Team is asking for your help!

Over the past year, we have made significant milestones within our digital media and social media presence. In order for us to continue showcasing our employees and to curb geographical hurdles, we are searching for Regional Social Media Ambassadors. As an Ambassador, you can help us reach our goal of increasing our online presence by capturing images of your region.

These images will also be beneficial in the building of the Barrett Trail and Colas Crossroads newsletters! We love being able to highlight our people and the amazing work you all do.


There are THREE ways to win!

  1. The top four most liked posts of the month will be selected and posted on our pages to be voted on as the Picture of the Month! The winner receives a $50 credit to the Barrett Gear store!
  2. After your first 10 submissions, you’ll receive a “Social Media Ambassador” hardhat/laptop sticker.
  3. After 25 submissions, you will receive a “Social Media Ambassador” t-shirt!


The vision for our social media is to highlight who we are as a company. With your help, we believe we can achieve this. We want people from all over the company! From field employees to Admin and office staff! The more diverse, the better!!

To get you to start brainstorming on what you would be interested in capturing below are a few ideas for/ opportunities to capture a picture or video

  1. Stretch and Flex
  2. Morning Huddle/Take Time for Safety
  3. Employee recognition (catch someone doing something positive and snap a picture to recognize them)
  4. Drone image
  5. Piece of Equipment
  6. Project/Project progress
  7. A fellow employee on a job site (please make sure they are wearing the proper PPE)
  8. Small groups posed together
  9. Candid photos of someone working


As a Social Media Ambassador, you will be responsible for submitting ONE image per week. These photos should be LANDSCAPE photos (phone held horizontally), no editing necessary. All photos will be submitted to Brett Young and Julia Marrero. Images can be sent via email or text.

With COVID-19 cases rapidly declining in our work areas, a push is underway to open our offices.

To ensure this is done in a safe manner, the Office Reopening Committee is managing this process.

As geographic areas are deemed safe, regional teams prepare and submit a Risk Mitigation Plan to the committee. The committee reviews the plan and ensures that all key items included in the Office Reopening Plan, such as social distancing measures, proper cleaning schedules, and many others, have been properly addressed. Regions are encouraged to include pictures and/or diagrams that demonstrate the safety action taken to meet the guidelines in the plan.

The State College office was the first to re-open and was granted approval of their plan on May 26th. Some of the highlights of their plan and a few others are listed below.

A special thank you to the members of the Office Reopening Committee for your continued work on this important project.



While adhering to the CDC and other federal guidelines regarding COVID-19, our industry has been fortunate enough to remain open at our plants and continue to do work at our job sites. Areas of the country are beginning to see a decline in the outbreak of the virus and states are beginning to reopen in strategic phases.

Barrett Industries and its subsidiaries continue to implement wide-reaching safety measures to protect our employees, their families, and the communities in which we work. Staff working at our open plants and job sites continue to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), adhere to strict safety protocols, and practice social distancing whenever possible.

As our country begins to reopen in phases, the complexity of COVID-19 has identified new challenges in welcoming staff back to the office setting. Throughout Barrett Industries we have begun to evaluate how we can safely and effectively do so.

Through thoughtful collaboration, each of our subsidiaries has developed Return to Work Policies & Procedures. In compliance with state and local public health mandates, these guidelines detail new safety measures that must be adhered to by staff working within our offices. These measures include, but are not limited to, health screenings prior to entering the building and wearing a face covering. Additionally, we have temporarily implemented restrictions regarding visitors and altered the process for package deliveries.

We are proud to share that during these trying times, Barrett Industries and its subsidiaries have continued to give back to the communities in which we work. Many of our companies have donated personal protective equipment and other supplies to local healthcare organizations, first responders, and food pantries to ensure that our neighbors remain safe and are able to meet their basic needs.

The greatest asset we have at Barrett Industries is our people. We will continue to work together to ensure the safety of all of our employees. We thank you all for your flexibility, teamwork, and dedication to safety.

For the most reliable and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and what you can do to protect yourself and those around you, visit the Center for Disease Control or World Health Organization website(s).